Pressure cooker recipes/cookbooks

mabeldingeldine_gwFebruary 27, 2012

As a riff on the pressure cooker thread, I'd like to hear some of your favorite pressure cooker recipes and/or cookbooks.

I have Pressure Perfect by Lorna Sass and another without a cover from the 60s that I purchased at a yard sale and don't know the name of offhand. I can't decide on a favorite recipe, but probably a risotto or polenta -- so good, so easy!

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I recently compiled some recipes for a relative to whom I had given a pressure cooker. Here's a long post, but all of these recipes are tried and true.

This recipe for Osso Buco is from Lorna Sass's Cooking Under Pressure. I have made Osso Buco both as a slow braise (traditional), and made it in the pressure cooker. I actually prefer the pressure cooker version. Even if you're only cooking for two and using just two veal shanks, don't halve the remaining ingredients; the sauce is wonderful by itself, and any leftover sauce will make a great pasta sauce for the next day. Once you get the Osso Buco started in the cooker, cook up some pasta or rice to soak up the sauce. The gremolata garnish is traditional, but I don't care for it; some authorities, such as Marcella Hazan, don't use it.

OSSO BUCO ALLA MILANESE (Braised Veal Shanks, Milan-style) Serves 4

4 veal shanks, about 10 oz each 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dry red wine or dry vermouth 1/3 cup beef or chicken stock or bullion
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped 1 stalk celery, sliced thinly
1/2 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
One 14 oz can tomatoes, coarsely chopped, including juice
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste (less if using canned bullion)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Gremolata: (optional)

1 tablespoon finely minced garlic 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1/2 cup finely minced fresh parsley

Rinse the veal shanks, pat dry, and dredge in flour, pressing the flour into the veal with the heel of your hand. Shake off excess flour.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in the cooker. Over medium heat, brown the veal on both sides and set aside on a platter.

Add the remaining oil and saute the onions until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the red wine and stir, taking care to scrape up any browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the stock, browned shanks, carrots, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes, basil, oregano, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

Lock the lid in place and over high heat bring to high pressure. Adjust the heat to maintain high pressure and cook for 18 minutes. Let the pressure drop naturally or use a quick-release method (venting the steam or putting the cooker in the sink and running cold water over it). Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow any excess steam to escape.

Prepare the gremolata, if used, by combining the garlic, lemon zest, and parsley. When the shanks are done, stir in the gremolata and simmer for a few minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve.

Note: if using smaller shanks, check for doneness after 15 minutes of high pressure.


A pressure cooker makes this traditional St. Paddy's day meal much easier. Ordinarily, a corned beef brisket would take 3 or 4 hours to cook. Here it's about a third of that, and most of that time you're not doing anything. --From a meal-planning standpoint, this is a very convenient dish. A packaged corn beef brisket stays good in the fridge for several weeks, and a cabbage has a long storage life as well, so you can have those items available in your fridge for cooking at the last minute. You can make it with just cabbage, or throw in some root vegetables like potatoes and carrots. Either way, it's ridiculously easy and good. The leftovers (if there are any) make excellent sandwiches or hash.

4 cups water or other liquid (see Variations below)
2 large bay leaves
3 to 5 lb corned beef brisket
4 lbs potatoes, scrubbed
1 small (2 1/2 lb) green cabbage

Put the water in a 6 qt or larger pressure cooker. Add the bay leaves. Put corned beef in pressure cooker, fatty side up, along with any juices from the package and the contents of any spice pack that may have been packed with the beef. Don't worry if the brisket doesn't fit on the bottom; just let one side point upwards along the side of the cooker. (It's going to shrink a huge amount, probably 50%.) Arrange the potatoes on top of the beef.
Lock the lid in place. Over high heat, bring the pressure cooker up to high pressure and adjust the burner to keep it just at high pressure. Pressure cook it on high for about 55-60 minutes for a 3 pound brisket, 65 minutes for a 4 pound brisket, or 70-75 minutes for a 5 pound brisket. Then allow the pressure to go down naturally (that is, don't vent the cooker or put it under cold water)--that might take as long as 15 minutes. During that time, trim the cabbage: remove the outer layer or two of leaves, cut the cabbage in half (pole to pole, not through the equator). Cut the dense core out of the stem end of each half and discard. Cut the halves in thirds lengthwise (along meridians, not across the equator). Once the pressure is down, open the cooker and remove the potatoes to a platter, covering with aluminum foil to keep warm. Put the brisket on a platter, fatty side up. If there is less than 1 cup of liquid in the cooker, add sufficient water to make 1 cup. Put the cabbage in the cooker, put the top on, and return the cooker to high; once on high, cook for 3 minutes. You can bring the pressure down quickly now, either by venting the pressure cooker or by putting the cooker in the sink and running cold water over it. Open the cooker and scoop out the cabbage, allowing it to drain, and place it on the platter.

Don't try to carve the corned beef until it has rested for a while--it'll shred to bits. Remove a lot of the surface fat from the beef by scraping it with a blunt instrument like a teaspoon. Carve by starting at one corner, carving the corned beef across the grain--otherwise it'll be stringy.

Guinness stout goes very well with this.

Variations: instead of water, use stout or beer or any combination of those three liquids.


This recipe from Lorna Sass's Pressure Perfect is a quick and easy way to make a pretty tasty curry. You can make it with chicken, beef, lamb or pork, and vary the hotness by using mild or hot curry paste. 2 tablespoons of mild curry paste makes a pleasant-but-wimpy curry; 4 tablespoons of mild paste makes it pleasantly zingy; 4 tablespoons of hot curry paste makes it very hot, near my limit of tolerance (and I really like hot food). I generally use 2 tablespoons of hot and 2 tablespoons of mild curry paste. This is another recipe that's ridiculously easy yet produces delicious food. If you don't want to mess with the yogurt, peas and cilantro, don't bother--the dish will still be very tasty, but the sauce won't be as rich or velvety-smooth. ( I personally don't like cilantro, so I don't use it.) The recipe calls for 3 pounds of bone-in chicken; I find it easier to use about 2 or 2.5 pounds of boneless skinless chicken thighs. --Once you get the pressure cooker up to pressure, make a pot of rice. By the time the rice is done, so is this.

1 cup water
4 tablespoons Patak's Mild Curry Paste
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 pounds bone-in skinless chicken thighs or breasts, or 2-2.5 lbs boneless skinless thighs, or 2 lbs. other meat
(see chart below)
1 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 cup frozen peas
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped (optional)

Pour the water into a 4-qt or larger pressure cooker and blend in the curry paste. Place on high heat and add the onion and meat of your choice.
Lock the lid in place. Over high heat bring up to high pressure. Reduce the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for the time indicated in the chart. Turn off the heat. Allow the pressure to come down naturally. (If cooking chicken, release any remaining pressure after 4 minutes.) Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow steam to escape. If the chicken or meat isn't tender, cover again and simmer until done.
If necessary, skim off the fat that rises to the surface or degrease the broth in a fat separator. Blend the yogurt into 1 cup of the broth. Stir the peas into the curry and simmer until they are defrosted, about 1 minute. Turn off the heat and stir the yogurt mixture into the curry. Stir in the cilantro and salt to taste. Serve in bowls over rice.

Meat choices Cooking times

Chicken (see notes above) 8 minutes high pressure, 4 minutes of natural release, then quick release

Beef (boneless chuck, 1" cubes) 8 minutes high pressure, then natural release

Pork shoulder (1" cubes) 8 minutes high pressure, then natural release

Lamb (boneless, 1" cubes) 12 minutes high pressure, then natural release

If using beef, pork or lamb, trim off excess fat and cut the meat into approximately 1" cubes before cooking..

Chuck roast, 3 to 4 pounds
roughly 2 cups onions, 1 cup carrots and 1 cup celery, all finely chopped)
Chicken broth
1 large can of mushroom stems & pieces (optional)
Black pepper
1 or 2 bay leaves (optional)

Trim excess fat off the outside of the chuck roast, but don't be too aggressive--you want to leave some for flavor. If you want to, sear the chuck roast on high heat in a frying pan (that's optional--it'll still taste good if you don't do that).

Mix the vegetables and mushrooms, and put half of the mix in the bottom of the cooker with a bay leaf and chicken broth. Give a generous grinding of black pepper to it. Put in the pot roast. It's okay if it comes up the side of the cooker a little bit. Grind some more black pepper on the top of the roast, then put in the rest of the vegetable/mushroom mixture on top of the roast. Reattach the pressure lid and bring the cooker up to pressure on high heat. Once it gets to pressure, cut back the heat to where it's just keeping the pressure on high.

Now, don't do anything for a while. After some time (roughly 45 minutes for a 3 pound chuck roast, 50 or 55 minutes for a 4 pounder), turn off the heat. Don't vent the pressure, but rather allow the pressure to come down by itself. It'll probably take at least 15 minutes to do so. During this time, you might want to make a batch of rice or couscous to catch the juices.

Once the pressure is down, remove the lid. Remove the roast to a platter. The juices in the pot will be delicious with no other treatment, but if you wanted to get fancy and strain them you could. Slice the pot roast and serve with rice and the pot juices.

While cooking collard greens on the top of the stove can take a long time, these greens are ready in fifteen minutes. This recipe demonstrates two points: 1) pressure cooking will really shorten the cooking time, and 2) with enough bacon, anything tastes good.
1 bunch collards
6 slices bacon
First, cut up the bacon into small pieces and start to cook it over medium heat in the bottom of the pressure cooker.
While the bacon is cooking, cut the stems out of the collards; discard the stems and put the leafy part in a bowl of cold water as you de-stem the rest of the bunch. Once all the leaves have been de-stemmed, drain the water out of the bowl. Cut the leaves crossways on a cutting board, putting the cut leaves back in a bowl of cold water.
Once the bacon is cooked, scoop the bacon bits out of the pressure cooker, but leave the bacon grease in the bottom of the pot. Allow the bacon bits to drain on paper towels. Drain the soaked collard greens in a colander, but don't be aggressive about removing the water; allow whatever water clings to the leaves to stay on the greens. Put the wet leaves in the pressure cooker. (It'll hiss a little when the water hits the hot bacon grease.) Don't worry if the greens fill the cooker higher than 2/3; the greens will shrink an incredible amount.
Close the cooker, put it on high; as soon as it comes to high pressure, cut the heat until it just keeps it up to pressure. Cook on high for about 5 or 6 minutes. Release pressure, toss the collards with the liquid in the pot and the bits of bacon you've reserved.
Serve with pepper vinegar or hot sauce of choice.
(You can substitute a bag of collards already cut up, and that's convenient; you just rinse them and go. You should, though, increase the cooking time a few minutes, because the cut up collards haven't been 'de-stemmed' and the stem takes a little more cooking time.)

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 9:28AM
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In the pot roast recipe, I should have specified about a CUP of chicken broth. If you have a source of good beef broth, use it, but I find most commercial beef broth to be inferior to chicken broth.

Also, the formatting of the osso buco recipe didn't come through right, so here's the ingredient list more clearly printed:

4 veal shanks, about 10 oz each
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dry red wine or dry vermouth
1/3 cup beef or chicken stock or bullion
2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, sliced thinly
1/2 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
One 14 oz can tomatoes, coarsely chopped, including juice
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste (less if using canned bullion)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

    Bookmark   February 28, 2012 at 9:36AM
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Thanks, these look tasty!

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 6:19AM
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Though I have not yet bought one, I have been saving links I see for information. There's a cookbook called "cooking under pressure" and "the pressured cook", I have the latter. Also by Sass.

Below is a link that supposed to be great information.HTH!

Here is a link that might be useful: Miss Vickie's Pressure Cooker Workshop

    Bookmark   February 29, 2012 at 8:07AM
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